Sadhvi Pragya, Takes Her Words Back, After Backlash Over 26/11 Hero Remark

Sadhvi Pragya, Takes Her Words Back, After Backlash Over 26/11 Hero Remark

Sadhvi Pragya, Takes Her Words Back, After Backlash Over 26/11 Hero Remark (file image) 

New Delhi: BJP leader Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who is facing a massive backlash over her comments boasting about her "curse" on 26/11 hero Hemant Karkare, apologized and said she is "taking back her words". The BJP leader had said that Hemant Karkare was killed by terrorists and is certainly is a martyr.

"If my remarks made enemies happy, then I take my words back, and I apologise too. Our remarks shouldn't make enemies happy. The pain I went through, it can't be reversed, but terrorists killed Hemant Karkare, he certainly is a martyr," she told news agency ANI. 

Even though the Bhartiya Janata Party had said the comments made by Sadhvi Pragya were "personal", she claimed the party had not distanced itself from her comments. "I said what I felt, party hasn't distanced itself from my remarks, they stated the right thing, that it was my personal account," Sadhvi Pragya said. 

On Wednesday, the BJP had inducted Sadhvi Pragya and made her the candidate from Bhopal for the Lok Sabha elections. Yesterday, the party said Sadhvi Pragya's remarks may have been driven by the torture she faced when she was in jail in the 2008 Malegaon blasts.

"I had told him you will be finished, and he was killed by terrorists in less than two months," Sadhvi Pragya had bragged at a press conference on Thursday, flanked by BJP leaders who clapped at the execrable words.

Sadhvi Pragya's comments were slammed as disgraceful by opposition party.

Hemant Karkare died fighting terrorists during the November 26, 2008 attack in Mumbai in which 166 people were killed. As the chief of Maharashtra's anti-terror squad, Hemant Karkare had investigated Sadhvi Pragya in connection with the blasts in Malegaon two months before that.

"The investigation team called Hemant Karkare and said if you do not have evidence, let her go. He said, I will do anything to get evidence against her. I won't let her go. This was his hatred (kuteelta). He was anti-national. He was dharam virudh (anti-religion). You won't believe, but I said, 'tera sarvanashhoga'. Just after 'sawa' month, terrorists killed him," said Sadhvi Pragya to reporters on Thursday.

"That day, there was a sutak (inauspicious period) on him. That sutak ended the day he was killed," she said, giving examples of mythical villains killed because of the curse of saints.

In a statement, the BJP had said: "the BJP considers him a martyr. This is Sadhvi Pragya's personal statement which she might have given because of the mental and physical torture she had faced."

Hemant Karkare was the first officer to investigate the blasts on September 29, 2008. The blast claimed the life of 6 people and 101 injured in Malegaon, a town 250 km from Mumbai. The arrest of Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya and others were made and charged with plotting the blasts.

Accused Number 1 in the case, Sadhvi Pragya was given a clean chit by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2015, but the trial court refused to let her off.

According to the national investigation agency, no evidence was found against her, but the court had said it was difficult to accept since her motorcycle was used in the blast.

The charges against Sadhvi Pragya were dropped by the court under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) but the trial is still on under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. She was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in 2017 on health grounds.